Authorities in Nigeria have uncovered an extensive underground operation where traffickers sell unwanted infants for a profit.
They are called baby factories.
And while many women go to the factories to give birth to babies born out of wedlock, many house underage women who are raped and impregnated in order to keep business booming.
One such factory is Nigeria’s Moonlight Maternity Clinic, headed by “Doctor” Akpudache, who refused to answer questions regarding the allegations that he sells newborn babies – with the boys fetching higher prices than the girls.
“I have nothing to say to you,” Ben Akpudache, a stout 74-year-old, told AFP at the small, dimly lit clinic with concrete floors tucked between commercial shops in the southeastern city of Enugu.
“I can’t just have people coming in and asking questions.”
“Doctor” Akpudache, whose medical credentials are under question, had his clinic raided in July after a three-month sting operation in which the security forces discovered a so-called baby factory.
Members of Nigeria’s Civil Defense Corps (NCDC) posed as people wanting to buy babies, and what they found was the frightening reality that these babies and their mothers endure.
The “factories” are usually small facilities parading as private medical clinics that house pregnant women and offer their children for sale. In some cases, young women have allegedly been held against their will and raped, with their newborns sold on the black market.
Their newborns are then sold for several thousand dollars, with boys fetching higher prices. The mother receives roughly $200 (150 euros).
Unfortunately, Akpudache is out on bail and his facility remains open. According to the Huffington Post, authorities said it was not shut down because they were waiting for the courts to take action, though the NCDC spokesman insisted Akpudache would face justice.
But with human trafficking being Nigeria’s third most common crime behind fraud and drug trafficking, it seems that even if Akpudache is shut down, other underground baby factories will continue booming.
Let’s hope we’re wrong.
SOURCE: Huffington Post